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    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.


    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.


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Reaping the Fruits of Hard Work

The Kintampo Health  Research Centre (KHRC) in Ghana, is one of the eleven  trial sites researching into the candidate RTS,S malaria vaccine.

Thousands of  children, infants aged 6-12 weeks and young children aged 5-17months, in Ghana, Malawi,  Burkina Faso,  Gabon,  Mozambique,  Kenya  and  Tanzania are taking part in the final stages in assessing the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

The successful outcome of the  vaccine trials will not be a  one-touch solution or magic  bullet against malaria, as the vaccine must still be used with other tools such as treated bed nets,  indoor residual spraying spray (IRS) and drugs.

Although, the full outcome of the vaccine trial may be a long way off,  the KHRC is making use of the legacies, infrastructure and  human  resources  gained  from  the RTS,S  trials for other clinical trials.   This trial is already serving as building blocks for other research activities at the Centre.

The  RTS,S  trials  is  INDEPTH  Network's project. This project, which has  been running  for  over  four  years,  is indeed yielding  dividends  as  it  has  led  to  big contributions  in  infrastructure  development and provision of equipment such as microbiology and bio-chemical  laboratories, X-ray machines  and  a  data management system at Kintampo.

The  vaccine trial has largely been  made possible by the Centre's Health   and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) and Kintampo has been part of the INDEPTH  Network  through  its  HDSS, since 2004.

As a result, over the years, the centre has been expanding and undertaking various projects thus putting research and development  together  relying   on  the HDSS.

Incidentally  the  geographical  centre  of Ghana  is  located  in  Kintampo  and  the Centre has  positioned  itself nationally to research into health problems pertaining to the middle belt of the  country to help inform policy within the health sector.

The HDSS helps in surveillance  and tracking  of  the  population  dynamics  in terms  of  its  health  and  other  outcomes through  data  collected on  pregnancies, births,  deaths, and migration among others.

The  near  absence  of  health  and  demographic  data  in  Africa affects  effective planning and development.
Running the HDSS  has thus  enabled the centre  to  run  several  malaria  projects including a study  to determine relevant malaria epidemiological and immunological data among some 810 babies  from birth until two years of age.

The aim of this study was to among others, analyse the incidence of clinical malaria in the first two  years of life, attributable  to fevers due to malaria.

Another  study  conducted  through  the HDSS  is that involving the passive detection  of  malaria  among  children under-five years in health facilities.

The  main objective  of this study  was to determine  the  benefit  or  otherwise  of basing  the  management  of  suspected cases  of malaria only on laboratory confirmation of the infection as compared to presumptive treatment.

Related to this study is the severe malaria project conducted  by  the  centre  which was aimed at improving clinical management  of  acutely  ill children  in  health facilities in the Kintampo area.

This  study was conducted  based  on  the fact  that  not  all  under-five  children develop severe malaria because there are various factors which make some children more susceptible to or resistant to developing severe forms of the disease.

These risk factors may include  socio-demographic factors, nutritional, immunological and parasitic factors.

To  help  understand  why  some  children develop  severe  malaria  and  to  develop The main objective of INESS is to provide national,  regional  and  international health  information  to  assist  decision makers to access independent and objective  evidence on the safety and effectiveness of new anti-malaria drugs as a  basis  for  malaria  treatment  policy  in Africa.

The  specific  objectives are to  assess  the effectiveness of new malaria  treatments and its determinants in  real life systems, and secondly to evaluate the safety of new malaria  treatments through comprehensive pharmaco vigilance within the African health system.

A number of modules  are being  used  to address these objectives and they include the following: access, adherence, provider compliance,  community  and  provider acceptability, cost  and cost effectiveness of anti-malalrials.

Data linkage is another essential component  of  INESS  which  seeks  to upgrade the health and demographic data and link the  HDSS data with that of the health facility data.

Of interest is the level of support given by the local  community  to  all  the  projects being conducted by KHRC.

The  local community  has  supported  the trials and this is  based  on goodwill and mutual  respect, which has resulted in tremendous benefits to the  Kintampo people.